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Dental Crowns: Purpose, Types, and Procedure

Our teeth can get damaged over time. It happens due to various reasons such as an injury, tooth decay, or over time. This results in our teeth losing their size or shape. One of the ways to restore your teeth to their former glory is by getting dental crowns. They are teeth-shaped caps which are placed over your teeth as the name suggests.

Dental crowns help restore the appearance, strength, size, and shape of your teeth. They are cemented into place and cover a visible portion of your teeth. According to My Dentist San Francisco’s website, a crown may be necessary if you have a broken tooth, a very large filling with additional decay, a worn down tooth, a root canal treated tooth, or a cracked tooth

Dental Crowns Purposes

Dental crowns are required for various reasons as mentioned below.

  • To cover teeth which are treated with a root canal

  • To cover dental implants

  • To cover severely discolored or misshaped teeth

  • To hold dental bridges in place

  • To cover and support teeth with a large filling and which do not have much tooth remaining

  • To restore broken teeth or severely worn out teeth

  • To protect weak teeth from breaking or keeping them together

Dental Crowns Types

Now that you know about the reasons why people get dental crowns, let’s take a look at the different types of dental crowns that are commonly available.

1. Metal Crowns

When it comes to making dental crowns, several metals can be used such as chromium, nickel, palladium, and gold. Metal crowns have a much harder time breaking or chipping. This makes them long-lasting. Besides, only a small amount of the tooth needs to be removed when opting for metal crowns. They also withstand constant chewing and biting. However, their metallic colour is a drawback. 

2. Porcelain-Fused-Metal Crowns

If you are looking for dental crowns that match the colour of your teeth, porcelain-fused-metal crowns are as good as things get. They boast a more natural look. But, it is important to keep in mind that the metal under the porcelain cap can show sometimes. There is also a possibility of the porcelain portion breaking or chipping off. These crowns are suitable for back or front teeth.

3. Resin Crowns

For those of you who are looking for a more affordable option, resin crowns might be the perfect option. They tend to be more affordable. However, these crowns are more likely to break and wear down over time as compared to other dental crown types.

4. All-Porcelain or All-Ceramic

When it comes to the best natural look, all-porcelain and all-ceramic dental crowns do not disappoint in the very least. They are the perfect option for those of you who have experienced metal allergies. However, you should not expect them to be as strong as porcelain-fused-metal crowns. Hence, more care is required.

5. Pressed Ceramic

Pressed ceramic crowns have a hard inner core. The metal liner is replaced by pressed ceramic dental crowns which are commonly used in all-ceramic crowns. Porcelain is used to cap pressed ceramic crowns. These crowns are more long-lasting and offer the best natural color match.

Dental Crowns Procedure

When getting dental crowns, you normally need to visit the dentist twice. However, it is possible to get a dental crown made during the first visit. Let’s take a look at the procedure.

The First Visit

The tooth which requires a crown is examined and prepared during the initial visit. X-rays of the tooth also need to be taken as well as of the bone around it. A root canal treatment might also be required before starting the dental crown procedure due to the following reasons.

  • Injury to the pulp

  • Risk of infection

  • Tooth decay

The tooth that will receive the crown has to be filed down from the sides and top. It will help leave some space for the crown to be fitted. The amount of tooth which would get filed depends on the type of crown one select. For instance, if you opt for metal dental crowns, not much tooth would be removed as they are thinner. A paste or putty would be used after the tooth has been reshaped to make an impression of the tooth that will get a crown. Then, the impressions would be sent to the dental laboratory where the crown would be made and delivered to the dentist within two to three weeks. A temporary crown would be made during the first visit to cover and protect the tooth that will get a crown.

The Second Visit

The permanent crown would be placed on your tooth during the second visit. To do so, the temporary crown will be first removed and a new crown will be permanently cemented after using a local anesthetic to numb the tooth.


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